Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Communicating climate change and the scientific delusional disorder [link]

Rupert Darwall: Climate alarmists warm it up [link]

Spiegel Dumps Cold Water On “Record Warm Year” Significance … Sees Science Fraught With Widespread Uncertainty…[link]

Converts to scepticism [link]

The tea party is pushing for solar power in Florida [link]

War, climate change and the catastrophe in the 17th century [link]

Meteorological basis for more colds in winter? Cold viruses replicate better at cooler temperatures [link]

Indian Science Congress: 2 of 3 scientists “felt fears of man-made global warming were greatly exaggerated” [link]

10 Energy Breakthroughs of 2014 That Could Change Your Life [link]

Does the #Climate Change Debate Come Down to “Trust Me” versus “Show Me”?   [link]

“97% of Climate Scientists Agree” is 100% Wrong [link]

Flawed logic, history and math of Naomi Oreskes on climate: [link]

“in some parts of the world regional sea level changes can be the opposite of global changes” [link]

Five awkward moments in celebrity #climate activism (and why we might not need them). [link]

The US and Florida Intense Hurricane Drought, Continued [link]

Type I and Type II Error Avoidance and its Possible Role in the Climate Change Debate [link]

Investors seeking action on greenhouse gas emissions are divided over the strategy of divestment from fossil fuels: [link]

Fear, loathing and global warming [link]

The most important skill in science is noticing the unexpected. Fight confirmation bias! [link]

Recent summer Arctic atmospheric circulation anomalies in historical perspective [link]

Mann’s latest anti-skeptic rant [link]

Richard Telford discusses the ocean pH measurement problem: [link]
Cass Sunstein:  Indignation, outrage, and moral intuitions.[link]

What to make of Judith Curry (!) [link]

Excellent piece on energy abundance vs. “carbon diet” as approach to climate: [link]

Annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society [link].  I am not attending this year.  Fabius Maximus posts on some sessions on the warming pause [link].

236 responses to “Week in review

  1. “Richard Telford admits the ocean pH measurement problem”

    I admit no such thing – it takes a warped reading of my comment to come to that conclusion. Recent measurements are excellent, but the old measurements are neither sufficiently precise nor abundant to be useful for calculating trends as Mike Wallace has done.

    • It looks like admission of a problem, but not phraud http://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2014

    • Steven Mosher

      ” but the old measurements are neither sufficiently precise nor abundant to be useful for calculating trends as Mike Wallace has done.”

      so ya there is a problem with them.

      1. They are not precise enough
      2. There are too few.

      That means there are things you cant do, that you would like to do.
      last time I wanted to do something but couldnt, I called it a problem.

      Of course other data is less problematic.

      Your repsonse should have been “Ya Judith, all measurements have problems depending on what you want to do.”

      • Paucity of pH measurement. These are my estimates. If you don’t like them I have others.

      • Judith contrived to make me appear to reject all the ocean acidification data. I was not.

      • I just repeated a tweet that pointed me to your post. In week in review, I don’t have time to do much more than that

      • Do you really think that parroting tweets is a cunning strategy? Spending a little time to check the source might be a useful investment. Unless you don’t care about misrepresenting others.

      • you have misinterpreted the few words that I wrote pointing to your blog post. That is all that I do on week in review; point to other articles and posts.

      • Since you seem upset about this, I have changed the word ‘admits’ to ‘discusses’ in the main post.

      • The real problem of the OA hyperbole is the exaggeration of the variation with respect to much greater natural variation as well as overlooking the benefits to biota.

      • Richard Telford wrote:

        Judith contrived to make me appear to reject all the ocean acidification data. I was not.

        Reading a little into that are we? I’d chill.

      • Richard

        I’ve not come across your work in detail before but I think you have made a Mountain out of a molehill with your comment here

        Judith merely suggests subjects in week in review and following the link provided it seems her first choice of word was surely appropriate? It’s not as if you were the only subject put forward for discussion is it?

        ‘ Contrived’ is a bit over the top as tha sounds rather malicious.


      • Steven Mosher

        “Judith contrived to make me appear to reject all the ocean acidification data. I was not.”


        She linked to your comment. that wasnt contrived
        I read your comment. It seemed clear you were criticizing a mistake
        made by wallace who tried to work with problematic data.

        again, HUH?

        big boy pants.

        get a pair.

        put them on with the zipper in the front.

      • Hi Tony
        at the WUWT I referred to the email (re CET) I sent on 29 Jul 2014.

      • Exactly.

        There are big problems in the state of oceanic pH measurement. Big – as in what has been solved in global temperature for instance, and ‘measurement’ – as in actual observations. Dr Telford wants to have it both ways – the millions of individual measurements cannot be synthesized into a meaningful single record, and that this is not a problem.

        Down his own discussion thread, you have BBD sternly scolding another for daring to venture an opinion that a model would be better than proxy records – the same excuse Telford offered in defense of not using observational data! Go figure.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I love richard telford’s question:

        Do you really think that parroting tweets is a cunning strategy?

        Because it is so completely out of left field. It has nothing to do with whether or not one feels Judith Curry’s line referring to telford’s post was misleading. One doesn’t need to be cunning to describe a post accurately or inaccurately. One certainly doesn’t need to be cunning to simply “parrot” what other people have said. Cunning had absolutely nothing to do with anything anybody had said.

        I’m fairly certain one could use telford’s response in any discussion where someone describes what they did with as much meaning. Whenever someone says they did X, just respond, “Do you really think doing X is a cunning strategy?”

      • Richard

        You have always done fine work. It only took a few seconds of reading your blog to understand the thrust of your comments. No harm, no foul. Keep up the good work.

      • “Do you really think that parroting tweets is a cunning strategy?”

        Are you saying that Judith aspires to be “cunning” and has failed?

      • I would urge people to follow the link above to Richatd telfords blog. It will immediately shift to a comment so scroll up to the article then read the comments which get more entertaining by the minute with Latimer and shub and radical rodent asking some worthwhile questions.

        We suffer from a lack of good historical data in various fields and on that basis extrapolate from very short term trends . There seems to be a lot of ph data not being used. Whether it has any merit or not I can’t comment on, but if we want to claim that ph in the ocrans is rising we need all the historic evidence we can get, provided it is meaningful and reliable.


      • Vuk

        Yes, I saw your comment. I sold your email to Leif a few months ago for an undisclosed sum…

        Just joking…

      • Steven Mosher:

        so ya there is a problem with them.

        1. They are not precise enough
        2. There are too few.

        There are about 1.5 million measurements (according to Ladimer Alder on Richard Tol’s blog).

        In terms of the precision, as I pointed out, the trend you can detect depends both on resolution of the measurements and on their density. As I said there, an interesting example is a 1-bit sigma-delta converter: We can routinely attain (nearly) 24-bit resolution using 1-bit ADCs.

        Because the pH level of the ocean varies over time (and there is large vertical variation) my guess is the bigger issue is with the changing of the instrumentation being used, changes in sampling methods, and so forth than just the resolution of the instrument.

      • When the value depends significantly on all three spatial coordinates and on time both due to short term variability and the trend being studied, the number of measurements needs to be very large even assuming that there are no systematic trends from the methods used as well as good metadata on coordinates and timing. Poor resolution of the data adds significantly to the difficulty in determining the field values well enough for the estimation of the trend.

      • Pekka:

        Poor resolution of the data adds significantly to the difficulty in determining the field values well enough for the estimation of the trend.

        You know it adds “significantly” on a factual basis, or is this just your best guess?

        I don’t actually accept that it factually is the case that the main problem with using the older data is just resolution: 1.5 million data points sounds like plenty to offset a what is actually not a huge loss in absolute resolution.

        I can accept that resolution plays into the problems with using the older data, but I guess there would a multitude of road-blocks (such as the ones I gave above) you’d have to overcome before you could reliable use these historical data to estimate the trend.

        Anyway, the main points that Richard Telford has raised are I believe valid. I think the problems aren’t too few measurements, or two foo sensors.

        I would guess that the real problems are the measurements are too poorly controlled to be used for this purpose.

        Not that dissimilar to the problems with TOBS, change of sitings, instrumentation that the land surface record suffers from, but (and again this is my guess) even worse meta data. If I’m correct, “we know there are problems, but there is no way to really fix them.”

    • Why has Richard appeared here to stick his head like a ‘sea lion’? (his terminology not mine).

      According to his ‘sea lion logic’ – which sounds like the mental process a teenage girl might employ – asking the question why so many pH measurements have gone unincorporated into a global summary record of some kind is stupid because the answer is so obvious.

      Who could have known.

      Later down in the same thread, Richard Telford admits such a graph would not conclusively demonstrate any trend (or the lack of it) as the expected pH trends likely smaller than the error of measurement involved.

      -As if the sole purpose of synthesizing global pH measurements is to detect trends!

      Paleoclimatic reconstructions have error bars stretching from floor to ceiling. Look at the ‘latest’, for example – the PAGES2K. That hasn’t stopping from telling their stories, has it?

      • Lack of points of comparison won’t stop an alarmist making comparative statements. In fact, it’s the main art of alarmism. We can’t know how things used to be…but we know stuff is getting worse. Argue that things may not be getting worse and you will be reminded of principal clause A: “We can’t know how things used to be…”.


      • I’m gonna charge admission to this discussion. This way to the regrets.

    • Well, the basic problem is Feely’s graphs show that pCO2 and PH correlate with temperature and not with atmospheric CO2.

      This doesn’t get mentioned much. And it doesn’t bode well for the “CO2 is reducing (buffering) the ocean alkalinity” meme.

  2. A new study that suggests the human lifespan is influenced by solar activity at birth:


  3. NatGeo link missed one of the biggest energy breakthroughs to have been validated in 2014. Siluria Technologies catalytic OCM (methane into ethylene). The chemistry has been known for three decades, but nobody could make it work practically (too high pressure temp, too low yield, too short catalyst life). Validated by partnership with Linde for ethylene plants, Saudi Aramco and Brascom for liquid fuels. Through pilot. Brascom will bring the first commercial gas to liquid fuels demonstration plant on line this year in Texas.
    Big for two reasons. First, Steam cracking naptha fraction of crude oil into ethylene is the single largest emitter of CO2 in petrochemicals. OCM emits no CO2, is more energy efficient, and uses (in most circumstances) a lower cost feedstock less subject to peaking oil production concerns. Ethylene production is about 150 million, big enough to make a real difference.
    Second, other Siluria catalysts can turn the ethylene into gasoline, diesel, or jet kerosene at low cost and at small scale. Means that stranded gas/ flare gas can be economically converted to liquid transportion fuels in a two step catalysis in small local facilities without the 50% energy loss and enormous scale required by Fischer Tropsch (Shell’s Pearl cost $20 billion, took several years to construct, yet produces only about 170kbpd, viable because the stranded PARS gas was ‘free’). This is an enormous game changer.
    The science behind Siluria’s double whammy catalytic breakthroughs is fascinating. Not only does it use high thruput screening (first developed by big pharma to develop drug candidate libraries by ‘brute force’), it rests on catalytic metal oxide nanowire synthesis using (originally) bacteriophage viruses as the assembly template (MIT’s Belcher, who got a MacArthur genius grant).
    Of course, maybe NG overlooked this incredible development because it isn’t green.

    • Well, how green is my ethylene? I suppose it depends on the color of the methanogens.

      Where’s FINA with the pink air?

    • Steven Mosher

      Thanks Rud!

    • Stay tuned for breakthroughs in deep-sea methane hydrate mining.

      • AK, you may be right, for example the recent Japanese test at Nankai Trough. But in general I am very doubtful that methane hydrate will ever be an energy game changer. Reasons are given and illustrated in essay Ice that Burns in Blowing Smoke.

      • Maybe not a game changer Rud, but I’m predicting a gradual replacement of drilling (e.g. fracking). Synergy between deep-sea mining experience and recent, rapid advances in robotics. Along with Moore’s “Law”, and general learning curve. AFAIK there’s no show-stopper, or even “hard” breakthrough required, only routing R&D and learning curve.

        Unless, of course, bio-methane from solar PV/electrolytic hydrogen comes on-line before it reaches maturity. Solar cells are under 70¢/watt (max, $2.80 averaged daily) these days, still coming down exponentially.

        Oh, but not for the process you’ve linked. I’m confident methanogens could also be tailored to produce ethylene, short-chain hydrocarbons, and various vinyl precursors from hydrogen and CO2 as well.

        These will probably be mature within a couple decades, when solar PV will be running 5¢/watt max.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Rud Istvan: Siluria Technologies catalytic OCM (methane into ethylene).

      thank you for that post.

      • MM, it was an easy extension to a pre existing footnote to an energy essay written maybe more than a year ago in my new ebook Blowing Smoke, foreward from Judith herself.
        What is new since I wrote the essay are the Linde and Aramco technical validations. Anybody that competent having done due diligence then voting with dollars has my utmost attention.

    • Several more things:

      Since you actually didn’t offer links, here’s one:

      Saudi Aramco invests in Siluria: will BIO rescue OCM and put the ROI back into GTL?

      Next, per Wiki:

      The reaction is exothermic (ΔH = -280 kJ/mol) and occurs at high temperatures (750–950 °C).[5]

      This is a significant sacrifice of energy: I count 4 out of 8 C-H bonds being oxidized, although a (somewhat) high-energy C=C double bond is created. Great for polymer starting points, not so great for energy efficiency.

      Finally, from the first link:

      The company has been producing ethylene via OCM at the pilot scale in its San Francisco and Menlo Park facilities for over three years. Siluria also produces liquid fuels in a pilot facility in Hayward, California that combines the OCM and ETL processes. Siluria’s Hayward ETL facility and the Braskem La Porte OCM demonstration plant are the last scale-up steps prior to full commercialization of Siluria’s technology platform, which is now planned for the 2017 time frame.

      Given how markets are supposed to operate, this information may have contributed to falling gasoline prices, and may continue to drive them down, as traditional producers and financiers react and adapt to this game-change.

      • Here’s an interesting paper:

        Sulfur as a selective ‘soft’ oxidant for catalytic methane conversion probed by experiment and theory by Qingjun Zhu, Staci L. Wegener, Chao Xie, Obioma Uche, Matthew Neurock, and Tobin J. Marks Nature Chemistry 5, 104–109 (2013).

        Developing efficient catalytic processes to convert methane into useful feedstocks relies critically upon devising new coupling processes that use abundant, thermodynamically ‘mild’ oxidants together with selective catalysts. We report here on elemental sulfur as a promising ‘soft’ oxidant for selective methane conversion to ethylene over MoS2, RuS2, TiS2, PdS and Pd/ZrO2 catalysts. Experiments and density functional theory reveal that methane conversion is directly correlated with surface metal–sulfur bond strengths. Surfaces with weakly bound sulfur are more basic and activate methane C–H bonds more readily. In contrast, experimental and theoretical selectivities scale inversely with surface metal–sulfur bond strengths, and surfaces with the strongest metal–sulfur bonds afford the highest ethylene selectivities. High CH4/S ratios, short contact times and the provision of a support maximizes the coupling of CHx intermediates and selectivity to ethylene, because these conditions yield surfaces with stronger metal–sulfur bonding (for example, Pd16S7), which suppresses the over-oxidation of methane.


        that the vapour-phase oxidative coupling of methane by sulfur (as
        gaseous S2) to produce ethylene is entropically driven, and is exergonic
        only at temperatures above 950 K (Table 1, reaction 6).

        IOW, not nearly as much energy is lost by oxidizing the C-H bonds with elemental sulfur as with oxygen.

        The sulfur may be recovered through electrolysis, which, in turn, could probably be economically powered by solar PV with appropriate design.

        Design would be important: hydrogen sulfide is highly toxic, and would need to be safely contained. Not something for stranded methane, etc. But for large-scale conversion to ethylene/liquid fuels, such a process would yield additional hydrogen at low energy cost relative to throwing away the extra energy using oxygen.

        And I suspect the catalytic innovations pioneered by Siluria would also work for sulfur, with minor tweaking.

      • Here’s another:

        Carbon and sulfur back flux during anaerobic microbial oxidation of methane and coupled sulfate reduction by Thomas Holler, Gunter Wegener, Helge Niemann, Christian Deusner, Timothy G. Ferdelman, Antje Boetius, Benjamin Brunner, and Friedrich Widdel Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 27, 2011; 108(52): E1484–E1490.

        Microbial degradation of substrates to terminal products is commonly understood as a unidirectional process. In individual enzymatic reactions, however, reversibility (reverse reaction and product back flux) is common. Hence, it is possible that entire pathways of microbial degradation are associated with back flux from the accumulating product pool through intracellular intermediates into the substrate pool. We investigated carbon and sulfur back flux during the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate, one of the least exergonic microbial catabolic processes known. The involved enzymes must operate not far from the thermodynamic equilibrium. Such an energetic situation is likely to favor product back flux. Indeed, cultures of highly enriched archaeal–bacterial consortia, performing net AOM with unlabeled methane and sulfate, converted label from 14C-bicarbonate and 35S-sulfide to 14C-methane and 35S-sulfate, respectively. Back fluxes reached 5% and 13%, respectively, of the net AOM rate. The existence of catabolic back fluxes in the reverse direction of net reactions has implications for biogeochemical isotope studies. In environments where biochemical processes are close to thermodynamic equilibrium, measured fluxes of labeled substrates to products are not equal to microbial net rates. Detection of a reaction in situ by labeling may not even indicate a net reaction occurring in the direction of label conversion but may reflect the reverse component of a so far unrecognized net reaction. Furthermore, the natural isotopic composition of the substrate and product pool will be determined by both the forward and back flux. This finding may have to be considered in the interpretation of stable isotope records.

        The energies involved are well within the range of what could be driven by differences in concentration, so in principle a network of catalysts (enzymes) could be set up to convert high concentrations of bicarbonate (CO3-) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S, actually HS-) to methane and sulfate. The latter could then be converted to elemental sulfur via electrolysis. (The sulfur could then be fed into the process described above.)

        Bicarbonate could be produced through high-pressure CO2 in the presence of appropriate carbonic anhydrase, using CO2 extracted from sea-water.

        AFAIK all of these processes could be designed to be powered by intermittent DC power directly from solar PV, without the need for storage or even inversion.

    • Ethylene is a $150B industry @ $1000/tonne.

      Ethanol fuel, by comparison, is a $60B industry. Ethanol is considered by many a boondoggle.

      How is this going to be an “enormous game changer”? It’s almost literally a drop in the bucket in the fuel market at only 150 million tonnes annually.

  4. ==> “She also heads a consulting company reported to make ($1-5 million yearly), Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN)”

    Is that accurate, Judith?

    How much more do you suppose you might be making if you weren’t being victimized by the “consensus police?”

    • Heh, the ‘consensus police’ are unlikely to be among her customers, who need and use her work product, thank you very much.

    • Steven Mosher

      Since the consensus police impact her academic standing, it would hard to estimate. perhaps as hard as the externalities of coal.
      Go ahead. Do a calculation.

    • Well, her company is described in the link to be “making” in the range of 1-5 millon $, with 10-20 employees. You wouldn’t know this, joshie, but her company may not be generating much of a profit. She has to pay her employees, light bills, rent etc.

      • Steven Mosher

        The number of employees looks to be 9.

        In terms of awards from the government( excludes commercial folks of course )

        we have this


        a phase one would be 6 months, typically and phase II last longer. hmm that’s how it was when I did SBIR

        Here is an example of the 2013 contract.


      • Steven Mosher


        The profit you can make on the government business is often set by
        the type of the contract. So for the SBIR she would have to submit
        her cost structure ( salaries, etc etc ) and then you get a proscribed profit margin ( single digit ) above allowable costs. not all costs are allowable.
        Typically the SBIR contracts ( my experience) are FFP which means she could even lose money.

        For her STTR ( the million dollar contract ) that’s a 2 year period of performance and her company cannot get more than 70% of the award or less than 40%

      • Ah, our tax dollars at work.

      • Steven Mosher


        My experience with SBIR was good ( hmm reagan had something to do with it )

        this was fun


        The automated forces development eventually lead to commercial application as some of the algorithms found their way into video games
        ( Falcon 4 ).

        hehe. although some of my critics have not figured out the connection.

      • Steven, I am sure that in your case and Judith’s it is money well spent.

    • The link from that ‘Real Truth’ article as to worth and profile is here:


    • Planning Engineer

      Joshua – It really is quite big of Judith to post links to bits about her that are really quite snarky. It seems at least a little tacky for one of her readers to use one of these postings as a springboard to take pot-shots at her.

      It’s really none of our business how successful her business is or is not. But the numbers provided allow us a lot of room to be charitable. Based on the financial data provided, her revenue per employee ranges from $100K to $500K. Depending on expenses, within those ranges, she could barely be floating a labor of love effort – that serves more to benefit her employees than herself. Or on the other end, she could be reaping a well deserved reward for her expertise, guidance and efforts.

      I hope it’s the later, but it’s none of my business and in any case I don’t know how we could be in a place to judge whether her business interests have been harmed or help by the “consensus police”.

      • PE –

        ==> “It seems at least a little tacky for one of her readers to use one of these postings as a springboard to take pot-shots at her.

        Judith slings the snark herself. And I think that she’s quite capable of handling it. Let’s not drama queen.

        ==> “It’s really none of our business how successful her business is or is not.”

        My point is that in the comments section of her blog, and in the statements like folks like RPJr., we frequently see the arguments made that: (1) we can backwards engineer from someone financial interests to impugning the quality of their science and, (2) we often see Judith and others claiming that they are suffering financially, and in other ways, for the mere fact of disagreeing with majority scientific opinion.

        I think that it’s entirely reasonable to question both of those arguments – in particular w/r/t Judith, the notion that there is a “consensus police” of which Judith is a victim. Victim-playing is one the aspects of the climate wars I find quite interesting, as it fits under the umbrella of identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors associated with motivated reasoning and cultural cognition. People on both sides are absolutely convinced that the are victims of the other side, when I see very few actual victims here.

        Sure, snark is not the best way to engage those discussions, and it may be “tacky,” but hey, tacky is my middle name.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua, don’t confuse academic career with private industry career. Academic/governmental vs entrepreneurial thinking… very different goals there and very different ways of being victimized.

      • John –

        ==> “Academic/governmental vs entrepreneurial thinking… very different goals there and very different ways of being victimized.”

        I don’t really by that. I see far more similarities than differences. It might make a good discussion, but I think that the influences on how people think are predominantly the function of human psychology and cognition – not the sector of employment. IMO – people from both camps have a tendency to inflate the differences in service of identity-aggressive identity-defensive behaviors. Making a group the “other” is one way that people feel better about themselves and their own group.

      • My stance on AGW is an impediment to my career in academia; it is not an impediment in the private sector. People in business want a useful forecast with a full account of uncertainty; politically correct forecasts that are overconfident and turn out to be wrong result in people losing money.

        In terms of lining my own pocket: I make more personal income from my university salary than I do from my company.

      • ==> “My stance on AGW is an impediment to my career in academia; ”

        Perhaps the quality of your science is an “impediment” to your career in academia? Perhaps your willingness and aggressiveness about being an “advocate” within a highly politicized context is an “impediment” to your career in academia?

        I’m not saying that your claims of victimhood aren’t accurate. I’m saying that skeptical due diligence would require you to make a stronger case. Argument by assertion is good for eliciting emotional support and aligning groups. A tendency towards arguing by assertion might not be the best way to achieve, scientifically.

      • John Carpenter

        “I think that the influences on how people think are predominantly the function of human psychology and cognition – not the sector of employment.”

        I agree to the extent that the sector of employment does not necessarily dictate the way someone thinks, but it can greatly influence it. I guess upon re-reading the way I wrote my comment, I should have emphasized ‘goals’ more than ‘thinking’. My point was more that the goals one sets for achievement in the business sector compared to public service or academia are probably very different. In general I would characterize business sector goals to be more monetarily oriented (though there are certainly many examples of labors of love) rather than academic goals that are generally more oriented toward personal advancement and peer recognition. Again, certainly there are exceptions to this rule and certainly business owners seek these goals as well. The priority of the goals are different though. The point being that depending on the type of goal, peer advancement/recognition vs business success, the way in which someone may be victimized is probably very different. I do recognize that in all cases the pursuit of power… power to make your own decisions, power of freedom to do what you want, power to think what you want, power to write what you want, power to influence others, power to pursue your own interests… is common to everyone in all situations and IMO is the root of victimization. Victimization is the loss of power or the taking of power by another unjustly. We could probably discuss what ‘unjustly’ means wrt the climate ward. I’m not sure it would result in anything useful.

      • Hey, I’m moving NCAR to where the ramblin’ wrecks are.

    • “Is that accurate, Judith?”

      Unless some one is questioning whether she is prostating her scientific opinion for personal profit I suggest it is none of your business how much she makes. Although there some issues I might disagree with her on, her integrity is not one of them

      • Interesting. I think you may have meant prostituting rather than prostrating. Correct me if my assumption is wrong.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Flynn, please read more carefully. He said “prostating,” not “prostrating”.

      • Scientist,

        Thanks. Goes to show that cutting and pasting avoids silly errors.

        At least you pulled me up on a matter of fact. It’s a nice change.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Actually I meant prostituting but keep getting tripped up by the autocorrect.
        I hope it now reads what I meant. If not I will keep trying until I get it correct.
        Thanks for the proof read!

      • ==> “Unless some one is questioning whether she is prostating her scientific opinion for personal profit I suggest it is none of your business how much she makes.”

        Fascinating. I wonder how many times you’ve seen “skeptics” backwards engineer from someone’s financial circumstances to impugn the quality of their scientific work, and never made a peep?

        ==> “Although there some issues I might disagree with her on, her integrity is not one of them

        Also fascinating. I’m not questioning Judith’s “integrity.” I have absolutely no basis for doing so.

        What is interesting that you see snark in response to Judith’s claims of victimization, and see it impugning Judith’s integrity.

        Perhaps you see that because you, yourself, are inclined to reverse engineer from someone’s financial circumstances to impugn their science contingent on whether you agree with their science?

        Why else would you have been confused like that?

    • “How much more do you suppose you might be making if you weren’t being victimized by the “consensus police?”

      Joshua, Did you read the Mike Mann piece? With your above question to Judy as a backdrop, I am interested in knowing what you think of Mann’s use of being victimized by “Big Fossil Fuels” using the Serengeti Strategy. How much more do you suppose he might be respected?

      • See
        here we are in complete agreement John!

      • John –

        ==> “Joshua, Did you read the Mike Mann piece? ”

        Didn’t read it. Not sure I’m likely to do so.

        See comments above. My point is that, IMO, people on both sides like to portray themselves as the victims of the other side. Looks mostly like drama-queening for effect to me – reflective of the general patterns of identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors. Again, it would be no surprise to me to see it on the “realist” side. Sameolsameol.

        It’s similar to the pattern I see on both sides, where people try to reverse engineer from financial circumstances to selectivelyimpugn someone’s science. IOW – climate combatants think that people’s science is corrupted by their financial circumstances only when they disagree with the scientific conclusions. Funny how that works. Somehow, I tend to doubt that it’s just coincidence. Know what I mean?

      • John Carpenter

        “Didn’t read it. Not sure I’m likely to do so.”

        Well, he really has nothing new to offer compared to other items he has written, so I don’t blame you for not wasting your time.

        I don’t disagree with your remaining comments too much.

      • John –

        ==> “I don’t disagree with your remaining comments too much.”

        Heh. I guess I can’t ask for much more than that. :-)

      • Joshua/John,

        Please tell me this is NOT some form of consensus! :)

      • John Carpenter

        “Heh. I guess I can’t ask for much more than that. :-)”

        Ha ha. I didn’t really notice I added that bit! Kinda Freudian slip there. You know i’m always looking for ways to counter your arguments… its all in good nature tho.

  5. Also this week there are two new climate audit posts,
    on Mann’s latest rant, where he glues instrumental on to proxy, wthout acknowledging that he’s done so, something that he claimed no scientists ever do,

    • Carrick Talmadge

      Not only that, he uses a proxy series that he must be aware is flawed—it is completely contradicted even by his own later work (Mann 2008).

      And he’s comparing what is supposed to be a temperature series directly to historical CO2 levels.

      As we all, including Mann, are aware, it’s total radiative forcings that drives climate change (to the extent climate change is driven), and not just CO2.

      I’d guess he choose what he knew to be a bad temperature series because, like CO2, it has a flat handle, in order to make what he knows to be an invalid point.

      That’s willful deception.

      • What is so inflamingly bizarre is his need and (so far) ability to promote and progress the deception. He cannot give it up. For me, despite the thorns and dragonsbreath, he is an object of pity.

        Pity, hah, how destructive of reason.

    • Robert Austin

      Proverbs 26:11
      As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

  6. NEWSFLASH: Democrats in the House propose defunding NASA for revealing Earth is releasing heat into space. Republicans dedicated to a new age of bipartisan reconciliation will vote on its fundamental agreement with both NASA and the Democrats on this issue.

  7. “Where skeptics express doubt in what
    appears to be good faith, scientists
    should attempt to engage with them
    constructively. There may well be an
    opportunity to disabuse them of misconceptions,
    inform them of the facts, and
    arm them with helpful resources they
    can rely upon in the future.”

    Oh geez, thankz Mein. Not patronizing in anyway. Go back to writing papers with bogus assumptions, seriously.

  8. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Judith Curry
    just imagining you lurking in the grass, lying in wait, slowly culling the weakened Micheal Mann away from the safety of the Consensus, only to pounce upon him
    let loose by evildoers
    you lioness (nice photo)
    him hoofed prey
    this subject never fails to entertain

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      just went back and tried to read Mann’s entire paper beyond abstract
      what the heck is that?
      “swift boating”?
      will that be a “peer reviewed” paper?
      talk about delusional disorders

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I did learn something though…
        if I scratch out a polemic
        and begin the first paragraph ABSTRACT
        I can get published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        You might get published If you had something interesting to say and could express it in writing.

  9. From the “Scientific Delusional Disorder” article:

    It is virtually impossible to predict anything with absolute certainty about the future of our planet. What this does mean is that humans are more likely to be causing a global climate change catastrophe than you realized

    I believe the expression here is “smh”.

    On the other hand,

    scientists need to do a better job explaining to the rest of society that scientists are not normal.

    , with which I agree, irrespective of position on climate change. ;-)

    • smh indeed.
      Whenever I write a paper advocate the use of logic and intelligence I like to throw in a stray non sequitur here and there just to keep people on their toes!

  10. Regarding the link “War, climate change, and catastrophe in the 17th century”, I look forward to reading both of those books. I read William Rosen’s “The Most Powerful Idea in the World: The Story of Steam, Indusrtry, and Invention” and loved it! I think any stem person or student of industrial and stem history that enjoys reading would too. What surprised me the most was the effect of patent law and the unique circumstances of English history – the 7 year practical apprentice norms, rule of law, empire and world trade, primogeniture, and coal. Fascinating. I was sad when I finished it.


    • I suppose that “steam engine” is marginally better in some ways, but there’s a sense in which calling it a “coal engine” would have focused the mind more on the material whose value as a resource suddenly shot up with that invention.

      I haven’t read the book, but I’m guessing that British 19th-Century ascendancy is attributed in no small part to its taking advantage of that resource. I remember reading about Bismarck’s surprise when he saw the British standard of living first hand.

    • Ah, unreleased pressure from my Christmas list; I like the ‘riveting’, just above the engine’s boiler rivets. A rambling wreck of a nice visual and auditory if you read that way.

    • I will read it J.W. Serfs have a special relationship to the
      Industrial Revolution, release from slavery and all that.

  11. Tom Fuller has returned to blogging.

    “The Grand Tradition of Propaganda in Climate Releases: To Understand Lewandowsky You Must Travel A Long Road”


  12. nottawa rafter

    A terrific list of things to read.

    I especially enjoyed Mann’s latest rant and the what to make of Judith Curry.

    I gave both a My God and a You’ve Got to be Kidding.

    I have to be honest that at times I am a squeamish skeptic, losing my confidence. But then I read the aforementioned pieces and Naomi Oreskes’
    mind numbing nothingness, and the confidence floods back in.

    • I often get the feeling that Mann, Oreskes, Schmidt, et al are part of a false flag intelligence op.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      I haven’t read Michael Mann’s “rant” but it looks like he just can’t resist provoking Steve McIntyre. Mann knows full the Hockey Stick graph agitates McIntyre, yet he prominently displays it in his article.

      I haven’t actually read the rant, but I skimmed over it and immediately saw the hockey stick. I guess I should read it before commenting further, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mann’s motive was to inflame McIntyre.

      • I don’t think McIntyre figures in Dr Mann’s thoughts one iota – he’s an irrelevant nonentity.

      • I don’t think McIntyre cares what Mann says. He just loves to skewer Mann’s sloppy science.

      • ‘The Serengeti strategy,’ polemics and self acclamation
        at their finest. Check out Figure 1 subtle color change
        at 1902, then check out the same Figure 1under the
        microscope, yer might say, Climate Audit.


      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        jim2 January 9, 2015 at 6:22 pm
        I don’t think McIntyre cares what Mann says. He just loves to skewer Mann’s sloppy science.

        jim2, if he didn’t care what Mann says, why would he bother?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        beththeserf | January 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm |
        “Check out Figure 1 subtle color change
        at 1902, then check out the same Figure 1under the
        microscope, yer might say, Climate Audit.”

        Aside from the fact we aren’t actually looking at Figure 1 under a microscope, what should I see that’s so shocking?

      • McIntyre only skewer’s Mann’s peer reviewed papers. Not what Mann whines about on UOCS web site.

      • Say my name, say my name.

      • jim2 | January 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm |
        McIntyre only skewer’s Mann’s peer reviewed papers. Not what Mann whines about on UOCS web site.

        Mann doesn’t have any peer reviewed papers. They were all pal reviewed which is why they are chock full of of methodology and statistical problems.

        McIntyre only skewer’s Mann’s pal reviewed papers.

      • I don’t think McIntyre figures in Dr Mann’s thoughts one iota – he’s an irrelevant nonentity.

        Haha! That’s a good one. If Mann thinks that of McIntyre then Mann is even less competent than I thought. And I already thought you (er, he, wink, wink, nudge nudge) were incredibly incompetent and unprofessional.

        Mann is very useful, in one way: whenever I see an article quoting you (er, him) in a positive light, I know the author is scientifically illiterate.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Well, I guess if you think “nit picking” is “skewering,” McIntyre is doing a good job. I prefer to look at the big picture rather than the nits.

      • McIntyre looks at nit-wits.

      • The Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t Stick is incredibly iconic and tragically wrong. Similarly the Mann himself is easily the most divisive personality in the climate wars. It’s all very grand, the Works.

      • Unannounced grafting of MBH99 instrumental data to
        the MB1901 pre1901 proxy data. Citizen Scientist Max.


        Kinda’ pragmatic-instrumentalism-cli-sci, or the-ends-

      • Big picture. How ter change the world through fear,
        destroy economies and freedoms with unsubstantiated,
        modelled-virtual-reality-climate-guestimates correlated
        with multi-regulatory-top-down-controls on hapless serfs.

      • catweazle666

        me : “I don’t think McIntyre figures in Dr Mann’s thoughts one iota – he’s an irrelevant nonentity.”

        Who, Mann?

        Yep, you got that right!

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        beththeserf | January 9, 2015 at 7:32 pm |
        Unannounced grafting of MBH99 instrumental data to
        the MB1901 pre1901 proxy data. Citizen Scientist Max.

        Poor Beth, she is blind
        Sees not the purple line

      • ‘Play the Game; a serf analogy.’

        What a test match betwixt
        India and Oz, lots of fizz.
        There’s that swallow dive
        right hand catch by Smith,
        Sharma out! Then all rests
        on the slender shoulders
        of Kohli ter hold the fort fer
        India but finally caught
        by Watson, then Kumar
        and Rahain ter defend
        through thick and thin
        with 8 balls remaining,
        that’s cricket! Kumar
        hits four and its a drawer!
        Series, 2-Nil ter Oz,
        a fair fight obeying the rules
        of the game Would
        cli-sci tricky methodology
        but do the same.

      • Serf, how about when all the Aussies except Haddin consensually pretended there’d been a catch? That bit of peer-review was very cli-sci. And those Indians who stand as long as possible at the crease after dismissal, just to generate some pity or guilt in the umpires and opposition…very Mannish, if you ask me.

      • Now look mosomoso, yer Irish toff subtile distinctions
        don’t cut no chaff, whatever, with simple serfs. Tsk!

  13. The Conjecture: Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere has a warming effect on the air, causing global warming, which in turn is exacerbated by the effect of warmer air being able to hold more water vapor. However, while water vapor is a greenhouse gas, rather than having a reinforcing effect on global warming, more water vapor results in more clouds and depending on their height, clouds cause cooling by reflecting solar energy away. And, it is conjectured that additional CO2 simply replaces water vapor in the upper atmosphere, thus having no effect on global warming whatsoever.

    The Reality: Truth is, global warming alarmists simply don’t care, one way or another about CO2. No one has died from increased global warming over the last 100 years. It’s local weather not global climate that kills people; and, cold weather kills more people than hot weather. The truth is, a warmer climate has been good for humanity and if we had a say in the matter the rational choice would be for a warmer not a cooler climate. About the only downside is, a warmer climate is the rising tide that raises all Leftists.

  14. Stephen Segrest

    Forbes Magazine: 4 Reasons to Worry About Global Warming Beyond Scientific Consensushttp://www.forbes.com/sites/fayeflam/2015/01/09/four-reasons-to-worry-about-anthropogenic-global-warming-independent-of-what-97-of-scientists-believe/

    The Forbes journalist is Faye Flam (a Caltech grad) who I’ve always found unique — as most MSM writers don’t have a science background to really understand this stuff.

    • I feel lucky and hope that someday the rest of humanity also will be able to take advantage of global warming, while it lasts!

    • As a non-scientist, I’ve often thought about the degree to which science should be considered among the “liberal arts” in the sense that these days it is among those disciplines that enable free men ably to exercise the franchise and participate in public affairs to the extent that, e.g., columnists do. It would indeed be refreshing if more pundits knew more science.

      Having dealt extensively with scientists, though, I’ve also concluded that it’s hard to overstate the degree to which science is hard—even for scientists. What this means for us laymen is that the credence we should accord a scientist’s remark about a science-related topic should be quite limited unless we know that the scientist (1) is smart and (2) has really dug into the topic. As to the former, even having gone to Cal Tech is no guarantee, and, as to the latter, just interviewing other scientists doesn’t count.

    • The oceans warm…when they don’t cool. Sea levels have been rising…since the late 1700s this time around. CO2 causes a straightforward greenhouse effect…in glass receptacles. Global warming is irreversible…it’s just those fly-by-night natural forcings that make it seem reversible.

      More awards for Ms Flam of Caltech please. She’s uncovered two decades of standard climate propaganda saturation. You never know, we might have missed it.

    • Lets look at the Forbes list and see how real it is.

      1: The oceans are getting warmer.
      Yup, kinda.
      The top half of the ocean has warmed 0.05 (+/-0.1°C) per decade.
      4: Unlike some pollution problems, global warming is essentially irreversible.
      2: There’s experimental evidence showing that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acts to direct heat back toward Earth – heat that would otherwise have been lost to space.

      Well, it isn’t the greenhouse effect because they aren’t using glass to reduce convection but CO2 is causing some insulating effect.

      The article mentions it is human caused but neglects to mention over 4/5ths of the cause is the burning of forest land.

      3: The sea level is rising.

      Well, yeah. About 1.7 mm/year not the 3.0 mm mentioned. The Wicked Witch of the West scenario, “I’m melting, I’m melting” mostly depends on a drastic increase in temperature. Since the sea level is mostly steric driven if the steric stops the sea level rise will stop.

      4: Unlike some pollution problems, global warming is essentially irreversible.

      This is an utter lie. If we stopped burning rainforest today the rise in CO2 would halt in less than 8 years.

      The article talks about returning the pre-industrial level in 10,000 years. Plenty of boneheadness in that statement. Returning to 280 PPM is simply crazy. The people who advocate 280 PPM are horribly misinformed or have rigid and limited patterns of thought We are far better off at 400 PPM or even better 500 PPM. Given that the CO2 level is driven warming and rainforest destruction, and we are running out of warming and rainforest, I’m starting to despair that we can even hit 500 PPM. We may even be below 450 PPM by the end of the century.

  15. Danny Thomas

    “It is virtually impossible to predict anything with absolute certainty about the future of our planet.”

    Is it just me, or are we seeing comments along the lines of this more frequently? I cannot quite tell if this is attempting to strengthen the confidence even while stating a lack of assurance about the science , or if it’s an admission based on recent (and potential future) evidence, or what?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Well, I can’t plan for my remaining life with absolute certainty, but nevertheless I plan based on predictions of what’s likely. I have observed the consequences of no planning.

      • “I have observed the consequences of no planning.”

        Have you observed the consequences of bad planning?


      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Not only have I observed the consequences of bad planning, I have occasionally have suffered the consequences. But, on balance, I’m better off for having planned.

      • Danny Thomas


        When a “plan” shows a likely increase and that increase “plateaus” how long do you stick with the plan?

      • “the consequences of bad planning”

        I think this is Max’s unique way of admitting (grasping at rationality) that just because you make plans to save the planet, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are good plans.


      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Danny Thomas asks on January 9, 2015 at 7:07 pm

        When a “plan” shows a likely increase and that increase “plateaus” how long do you stick with the plan?”

        I’m sorry you brought that up. I’ve had too much invested in short-term Treasuries for the past couple of years, planning for a rise in interest rates. Short-term rates have been stuck on the floor of a valley which is flat like a plateau. Someday, rates will rise, and my plan will work, so I’m sticking with it.

      • Max,

        I’ve made much the same decision based on thinking I had a bit of a handle on the uncertainty of the market. Forecast were for increasing rates, but they seem to have paused for a while.

        Of note, some have modeled the market and made decisions based on the results of the models yet over time it’s been seen where most managers actually cannot even match the market in return much less beat it. Makes me wonder why folks continue to invest in this way, but then again folks are up against the huge marketing scheme that supports all of those mutual funds out there.

        So you’re in treasuries and fossil fuels. Do you plan for a “home run” in just a small pct. of you portfolio or do you prefer going for the fences with the largest portion of your investments?

        I admire that you’re good with a wait and see approach (as am I) until you have the information that leads to making the best (for you) decisions in the face of uncertainty.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist


        I’m not going to try for a home run with even a small percentage of my stock/bond portfolio. Except for having somewhat too much in short-term Treasuries, the bond and stock allocations are prudent. However, if I add the mineral rights, the allocation is no longer balanced or diversified the way I think it should be. One solution would be to sell the mineral rights and invest the cash in stocks/bonds following my current allocation. But my overall asset total will be reduced by the capital gains tax I will pay. Another solution would be to just forget about it.

      • Max,

        I guess I’m more the “stay the course” type until I find evidence that sways the argument for a differing style.

    • “or if it’s an admission based on recent (and potential future) evidence, or what?” Or what: human capacity to foresee the future has always been extremely limited, the future always brings huge (and often unwelcome) surprises. Which is why I repeatedly advocate policies which increase our capacity to deal well with whatever future befalls, rather than to focus on policies which address one of many possible long-term future issues, none of which might arise, all of which might be trumped by something not currently on the horizon..

  16. https://ipccreport.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/converts-to-scepticism/

    Sure it’s interesting, how many members of the left-wing tribe wander off the reservation. The sub-link from the Pointman is worth notice as well if you haven’t seen it before;


    The problem with left-of-center “conversions” often isn’t noted, especially since most analysis in media and academia suffers from the same orthodox left-wing framework. The climate discussion is woeful in that it largely is between various parties of the left discussing…..even bitterly at times….from similar world views. Past, present or future. People who weren’t at least “former” left-wing aren’t even addressed regardless that they may well have the clearest views of the climate political meme. Many “skeptics” are waddled in their past or present empathy for many of the building blocks of collectivist thought that may well be discounted regardless of their shift away from climate change dogma.

    People changing their mind away from leftist doctrine is a plus, it’s simply that debate has to move a way from being left-wing insiders resolving matters between themselves. That liberals might only listen to former liberals or only other liberals who are skeptical of climate science like Dr. Curry is a sad commentary of just how doctrine driven the society has become.

  17. What to make of Judith Curry? “I doubt that any FOX performer or Republican congress-person, or conservative/libertarian Think Tank employee would be cut a tenth as much slack as she has gotten. The FOX person would likely be fired as would the Think Tank employee, and the congress person would be “Primaried” out of existence.” For what, I wonder? For having a blog where “the quality of discussion is mostly very poor”? That seems to be the best he can do. Not quite murder one, IMHO.

  18. Communicating Climate Change and the Scientific Dilusional Disorder

    Comment from aaron
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    What this does mean is that humans are more likely to be preventing a global climate change catastrophe than you realized.

    Fixed it.

  19. I was wondering, Dr Curry, if you do any work for any renewable related industries or is only fossil fuel related industries?

    • We do wind and hydropower forecasting, have clients in the humanitarian and emergency management sector, consumer weather, and several government agencies in Asia. And yes we have a few clients in petroleum, regional power providers and energy traders.

      Of note: our main client in the petroleum sector (since 2007) was initially attracted by our research on hurricanes and global warming.

  20. Dr. Curry,
    Why no comment on your change of status in the Mannian universe? You are now a new breed of contrarian, the Delayer. That would seem to be an upgrade from being considered an #antiscience #climatedenier, or whatever other ridiculous epithet he applied to you. Perhaps he is afraid of a lawsuit.

    • I wanna know how to be elevated from sowing doubt among the socks to top drawer delayerhood.

    • Does this mean Dr. Curry is the cause of the pause?

    • There is also now something called “doubt sowers”
      I kid you not.
      It’s in Manns article.
      Doubts are evil, uncertainty is evil.
      I seriously contend Mann and Oreske and lewandowski ( or whatever there names are) are the reason for the lack of ability of the two sides to put away the silly war.

  21. From the article:

    MUMBAI: Two of three scientists at a session on climate change and society at the Indian Science Congress on Tuesday felt fears of man-made global warming were greatly exaggerated. Their presence at the conference was particularly significant in light of the current ‘development-versus-envir- onment’ debates.

    “While I agree that glaciers are melting because of global warming, if this is because of man, then what was the reason for the melting of the glaciers in the Gondwana period long ..


  22. “Meteorological basis for more colds in winter? Cold viruses replicate better at cooler temperatures”

    Warm is good. Cold is bad at least for the human immune system. Our immune defense system is dependent upon our keeping 37 C. Most viruses have to live out of doors, on door knobs, hand rails, and micro droplet forms so they have adapted to a cooler environment and survive and multiply. When humans are exposed to viruses like rhinovirus, we can get sick; i.e., when infected with a virus, we develop a “fever” which in part enhances our immune system proteins (cytokines) function.

    “Schaffner, A (2006). “Fever–useful or noxious symptom that should be treated?”. Therapeutische Umschau. Revue therapeutique 63 (3): 185–8. doi:10.1024/0040-5930.63.3.185. PMID 16613288.”

    Given the current temperature around here is 4 F, I am looking for a Finnish Sauna to keep healthy, maybe even charge it to my health insurance through the Affordable Care Act?

  23. Stephen Segrest

    Week in Review: On January 7th Dr. Muller (of BEST) did an Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sme8WQ4Wb5w

    While I’m a nobody (an Utility engineer and Ag scientist), I’ve always held Dr. Muller in high esteem based on a “trust” factor. When he started his current journey with BEST he was heavily funded by the Koch Brothers — and the results of Muller’s Team has obviously not been what the Koch interests would have liked.

    Dr. Muller’s professional criticism of Dr. Curry (NYT OP/ED) has also always stuck with me — as to what “exactly” Climate Scientists should be studying to unlock better understanding. Dr. Muller used an analogy of going down a rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.

    But in another interview of Dr. Muller, he answered his own question saying that “Cloud Formation” (high and low clouds) could be an absolute “Game Changer” in our understanding of Climate. Dr. Muller has referenced an IPCC quote that also says this.

    Since Cloud Formation is in Dr. Curry’s “Wheelhouse”, its always been puzzlesome why she rarely talks about this at CE.

  24. Dave VanArsdale

    Please may I have the ten minutes of my life back?

    “What to make of Judith Curry (!) [link] ”

    This blog is thin gruel, remote, gormless and in need of editing.


    • Yes it is pretty bad, largely a warmer’s relatively quiet rant. He apparently thinks all skeptics, which he calls deniers (and defends this slur at length), think AGW is a hoax. Some clearly do but many do not. Amusingly, WHT is there claiming he was banned from CE for pointing out a supposed error in Dr. Curry’s book. Some of us remember that fiasco.

      • WHT is in moderation because he incessantly insults other commenters, notably Robert Ellison. He occasionally shows up with a comment that insults Ellison, which I trash. He was given free reign here to insult my book.

        BTW, no one is banned from CE; people who continue to violate blog rules are put in moderation so I can screen their comments.

      • ==>? “WHT is in moderation because he incessantly insults other commenters, notably Robert Ellison.”

        Unintentional irony strikes yet again.

      • I haven’t had a chance to thank Web for reteaching me an elementary lesson; that is, pay attention to the units and magnitudes on the axes. Ain’t gonna wander through his badlands on a horse with no name to express that ponied package.

  25. Matthew R Marler

    Communicating climate change and the scientific delusional disorder [link]

    What are we to do with the delusion that the non-radiative transfers of heat from the Earth surface to the troposphere do not matter?

    At least the Romps et al paper on the frequency of lightning strikes took those transfers seriously, and without depending on yearly averages. I hope that it stimulates many more papers (besides just my short note) to do the same.

  26. Matthew R Marler

    What to make of Judith Curry (!) [link]

    Not that interesting.

    • The standard of our comments was considered to be pretty low, but I don’t believe that it is any worse than other climate blogs. The debate has degenerated noticeably since the early days of Climate Etc and a good number of commenters from this period are conspicuous by their absence.

      • In my judgement the discussions here at CE are the best on the Web. All three sides are well represented: warmers, lukewarmers and skeptics. The resulting protracted debate is why there are so many comments, compared to the many one sided blogs. Sometimes the technical depth is quite good, but even when it is not it represents the public debate well. I know of no where else where the full debate can be seen so clearly.

      • Lauri Heimonen

        ”What to make of Judith Curry (!)”

        At first she has duly questioned the results of climate models adopted by IPCC:

        Judith Curry’s earlier link https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/19/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-ii :

        ”There are two major flaws in the design of the IPCC attribution experiments:

        – inverse modeling that tunes the model and forcing to reproduce the 20th century surface temperature observations

        – lack of account for uncertainty in the external forcing data”

        According to IPCC Report AR4 WG1 2007 9.2, in the model calculations there have been used questionable parameters obtained by circular argumentation: ”In the second type of calculation, the so-called ‘inverse’ calculations, the magnitude of uncertain parameters in the forward model (including the forcing that is applied) is varied in order to provide a best fit to the observational record. In general, the greater the degree of a priori uncertainty in the parameters of the model, the more the model is allowed to adjust.”

        Secondly she has correctly replaced the uncertain climate model calculations by using empiric observations on climate sensitivity assessments, which make the climate sensitivity be about half of what assessed by IPCC.

        Thirdly I have understood that Judith Curry is striving for an appropriate interface between politicians and scientists where both of them can understand each others well enough concerning a potential working solution for actions needed. But this is very difficult on the multidisciplinary problem of climate warming like on any kind of complex problem.
        In order that decision-makers can be made understand what can be a working solution available for potential actions needed, the bases of solution must be expressed simply enough. For instance you can easily understand that climate sensitivity can not be distinguished from zero, as you learn to know that in the present, atmospheric CO2 content the share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions is only about 4 % at the most, and that trends of global increase of CO2 content in atmosphere follow changes of temperature and not vice versa. (look e.g. at my comment https://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 )

    • My experience at SoD recently was instructive – with webbly’s off the cuff guff being routinely deleted. Which stands in stark contrast with the zoo at CE.

      The few remaining denizens have little of any technical relevance to offer. A few more offer bombastic diversions from reality – negknowledge – in which the content actually reduces the sum of human knowledge. Much of the rest is simply tedious point scoring in the climate war proxy games of culture warriors.

      95% of it could be usefully deleted – but would there be a blog left to salvage?

      • I regard the mix at CE (in terms of my post topics and the comments and the regular denizens) to be about 1/3 technical (engineering/science), 1/3 (philosophy, social psychology, decision making under uncertainty, ethics) and 1/3 about politics and the climate wars.

        I try to have one post per week on a technical topic. So my blog is pretty different from SoD in that regard. Further, my technical topic choices relate more to my own personal interests or ‘breaking news’ du jour. Digging deep into a fundamental science topic is better done at SoD, although there have been some interesting threads here also.

        A further issue is that I try for 4 posts per week (much more frequently than SOD or RC or Isaac Held or other academic climate bloggers), which limits the amount of time that I can personally spend on most of my posts.

      • Yeah, what we need is an entire blog consisting of Rob Elison and WebHUb slapping each other with their pocket protectors. THAT would certainly drive up the relevance and utility of this blog. Of course readership would plummet to two.

        On the other hand, they are both ninjas in the art of “tedious point scoring.”.

      • The point of mentioning SoD was the contrast between allowing full rein for the abusive, snide, content less and the trivial. The endless repetition of mad climate theories is another problem entirely. The point was that webbly was immediately moderated and not allowed to fester.

        You may run it however you like – but we have to accept that it is a zoo and not a venue that is going to attract any in depth discussion on arts, policy or science. Just the usual prattle from the usual denizens – as Gary M shows yet again.

  27. ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic.’


    Models can’t be reliable in the sense of having a single plausible solution. Minute – and not so minute – differences in feasible initial and boundary conditions are unavoidable. The differences propagate as exponential divergence of plausible solutions through time.

    Understanding one thing may lead to others.

    • ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

      This is at the core of climate modelling. Do try to catch up.

      • ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system�s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR WG!

        I talked about one aspect of increased computing resources required recently – https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/05/applications-of-subseasonal-weather-forecasts/#comment-661560 – in the applications post.

        This is another computing resource imperative. But it looks like I will have to keep talking to myself. It’s a little above the usual denizens heads. These guys are too busy honing their razor wit.

      • Haven’t you said all this before, perhaps even frequently?

      • I like the repetition. It’s like having a beat. Besides, I need reminders and often get out of step.

      • hmmm

        ==> “…and often get out of step.”

        Don’t you often have to be in step in order to often get out of step?

      • From the Slingo/Palmer paper to which you referred:

        “Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.

        So how much will uncertainties in climate-change predictions of the large-scale reduce if models are run at 20, 2 or even 0.2 km resolution rather than say 100 km resolution? Equally, we may ask whether there is a certain resolution (e.g. 20 km), where it might be feasible to represent small-scale motions using stochastic equations, rather than trying to resolve them? These questions urgently need answering as the pressures grow on the climate science community to estimate, and if possible reduce uncertainties, and provide more reliable and confident predictions of regional climate change, hazardous weather and extremes.

        Nevertheless, however much models improve, there will always be an irreducible level of uncertainty—‘flap of the seagull’s wings’—because of the chaotic nature of the system. Even the climate we have observed over the past century or so is only one realization of what the real system might produce.”

        Bottom line, the fundamental mathematics, on which the models are based, is chaotic. Chaotic means chaotic, read the definition if you need, and no statistical or stochastic machinations can resolve that. However, climate modeling appears to be a bottomless well of funding, whether for computing or human resources.

        I once had a professor of anthropology who told the story of a padre that spent years at a Zuni reservation trying to convert the locals with no success.

        “Why do you keep at it?”, asked the professor.

        “For my stomach”, replied the padre.

    • The repetition of tedious and misconceived arguments about models would seem to suggest that these things are not well understood. The latest round of this argument prompted the reiteration. It has the virtue of being correct. Get it right David.

    • It’s marginally interesting to keep reposting this stuff over and over. It would be more interesting if you addressed, say, Isaac Held’s arguments that all this stuff is just uncertainty about unimportant minor squiggles rather than fundamentally important aspects of climate. As you present them, these arguments prove too much, as if we could have summers consistently cooler than winters, , days cooler than nights, etc. Without some bounding arguments you are just shouting “uncertainty” without any of the constructive argumentation provided by our host.

  28. Dr. Curry,
    I recently saw this post on Steve Mac’s site:


    It doesn’t show Marcott in the best light (see Steve’s last paragraph) concerning his NXT SST reconstruction, and issues with data at the end of the reconstruction.

    Since Marcott has guest-posted here, would you be willing to comment on Steve’s ‘less than glowing’ evaluation of this issue?

  29. well, I screwed up the link: the link to the article itself is:


    the other was to a comment . .

    • Like an express elevator, whooooosh, to the top. Mebbe if he’d stopped at a few floors he wouldn’t be such a lousy President.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GOP means Gas Our Planet.

    • Not surprised that ThinkProgress is your source of news. in any case the coming battle between Congress and the Administration over climate policy will be something to watch.

    • The thinkprogress article say there more realists in the 114th congress and gives total numbers for realists and percentage of realists – but doesn’t give a numerical breakdown of how much the 114th congress improved over the 113th.

      The number of realists in congress has probably improved to the point that the Keystone pipeline and other wise pieces of legislation will be passed.

  30. “Recent summer Arctic atmospheric circulation anomalies in historical perspective”

    That is about the increase in strongly negative NAO/AO episodes, their origin is solar, and they are very predicable. The 2007-2012 increase in negative NAO/AO is a taste of what will resume through the next ten years.

  31. From Storchs, a beauty, flown through the storm,
    A baby, a bounty, extremities warm.

  32. 11/27. 10:42 ET.
    NAT GAS_____4.22___-0.1357
    RBOB GAS____1.91

    12/9 8:29 PM ET
    NAT GAS ______3.644__-0.008
    RBOB GAS____1.6984__-0.0252

    12/19 6:35 PM ET
    NAT GAS _____3.464
    RBOB GAS___1.5595

    12/30 10:37 PM ET
    NAT GAS______3.099
    RBOB GAS____1.4495

    NAT GAS____2.914
    RBOB GAS__1.3452

    NAT GAS_____2.946
    RBOB GAS____1.323

  33. I see the sad situation in France hasn’t been mentioned. I understand it’s nowhere close to a topic in science, but is more weighty and pressing than anything about climate. Western values are at stake. I won’t say anything more.

  34. John Vonderlin

    Dr. Curry,
    I appreciate you linking to critical articles about yourself in your “Week in Review” postings. Doing so with the “What’s Up With Judith Curry,” posting by Mr. Morris was deliciously Machiavellian. I was particularly amused by the part of his analysis contained in this excerpt relating to the quality of postings by the gaggle of denizens that graze here:
    “The quality of discussion is mostly very poor….. When I was watching it, the majority seemed like mutual admiration of most of the discussants and abuse slung at those who didn’t agree with them.” While the first sentence was barely passable and indicates a need to buy a Thesaurus, it was the second gem that made me laugh. You’ll never find me “watching” blog comments; I read them. I would rarely use majority and most in a single sentence, especially in one so jumbled. When formulating a blog comment you should only be considered a “discussant” if you flap your lips while reading what you wrote. Lastly, using “slung” to describe the posting of comments here would be ridiculous even if the usage of ALL CAPS was common here, which it isn’t.
    If Mr. Morris, has ambitions of producing a frequently-visited, lively forum, contributed to by a wide spectrum of intelligent and interesting people like yours Dr. Curry, I suggest he get a Thesaurus, a dictionary, and try to proofread his work before posting it. Eye sum thymes right pour, butt sew dew ewe Mr. Morris. I also wonder if “Comment Envy” is a recognized psychological condition, and if so, what the recommended treatment for it is?

    • I am a chemist, BS degree, and I admit I don’t understand how the climate works in enough detail to say the warmists are wrong. Of course I know CO2 can absorb and emit IR radiation. So, that isn’t an issue in my mind. What is the issue is feedbacks from water. We are looking at such small changes in global temperature, albedo, water vapor, etc; I get this impression we really don’t have the quality of data necessary to detect AGW, even if it is there.

      I find it amusing when a warmists asks me to come up with a “theory” or “model” of my own. If I don’t know, I don’t know. Why should I make things up as some of the warmists seem to have?

    • I think he was ‘watching’ in the sense that, the, ‘the quality of discussion is mostly very poor,’ was an observation — in eye of a beholder — from a writer that apparently is beholden to the government-Western academia-official-global-warming establishment.

  35. Just for grins, that is the Oppo et al. 2009 with indian ocean instrumental (monthy and 50 year smooth to match Oppo) over lain on the Mann-o-Matic version. :)

  36. I noticed that they just listed “The Serengeti Strategy” in the selected publications on Michael Mann’s (climatologist) Wikipedia page. These are supposedly peer reviewed publications. It skips from 2009 to 2014. It made me wonder just how much time he spends on science these days?

    I posted what I thought of this ‘science paper’ previously (not that anyone should care what I think other than part of the general public audience):


    This got me thinking about what a waste of time for someone with his pedigree to be all wrapped up in hate mongering and mud slinging. That it was peer reviewed and supposedly accepted as science is a whole other question. If he were at all rational, IMO, he would spend his time on some of the climate science challenges (unless of course he thinks it’s all settled and would just be a waste of time). Then I further wondered what would those challenges be. I decided to make my own list even though I may not have the best perspective:

    Uncertainty in climate science questions:

    1. Attribution. How much is CO2, how much solar, how much oceans and how much clouds? Ozone, methane etc.?

    2. Predictions and Projections. How good ard they? (ie: CO2 causes x amount of warming)

    3. Temperature reconstruction and paleo. How accurate and what does it teach us? (ie: CO2 lags temperature)

    4. Temperature methods. Satellite, land, ocean how good are they?

    5. Past climate change. How much and how come (what’s co2 got to do with it?)

    6. Natural variability. Is it relevant or just always back to norm. The features, workings and effects of all.

    7. Ice ages (Milankovitch). Thousands of years hence. Is it relevant now?

    8. Sea Ice extent. Ice free north pole summer? Slow demise of Antarctica?

    9. Sea level rise. How much and when?

    10. Extreme weather. When where, why and how much?

  37. Article: What to make of Judith Curry
    by Hal Morris at TheRealTruthProject.blogspot.com

    Here’s some truth for y’all.

    An English teacher somewhere badly failed Hal Morris. Hackneyed and poorly informed.


    • WebHubTelescope (a.k.a. Paul Pukite) commenting there under the handle WHT claims Curry banned him here because he corrected some bit of physics in one of her textbooks.

      Holy crap what a lying POS is Paul Pukite. I’ve criticized Curry, tested her patience repeatedly for years, gone out of my way to be as surly and uncivil as possible… yet here I am. Never banned. Put in moderation. Criticizing Curry is like throwing water at a duck. Rolls right off. The woman’s a saint.

    • Indeed! It appears the ‘real truth’ is still just a project.

  38. Genetic Engineering takes a quantum leap forward.


    Just went commercial.. 10x price/performance breakthrough. Applications everywhere from medicine to biofuel production.

  39. Delurked lurker

    “Criticizing Curry is like throwing water at a duck. Rolls right off. The woman’s a saint.”
    True ! Judith is rapidly becoming my role model.

  40. Basil Newmerzhycky

    It’s official: 2014 was California’s warmest year on record by a huge margin


    Somehow this stayed below Judith’s radar for the week in review.

    • nottawa rafter

      If the hypothesis is we are returning to MWP like conditions, then we should expect these regionalized events. As indicated previously, I see NOAA didn’t attribute drought to global warming. They also took issue with the characterization of worst drought in 1200 years.

    • That’s regional, not global. Note the meme is “GLOBAL warming,” not “California warming.”

      • Basil Newmerzhycky

        That’s regional, not global. Note the meme is “GLOBAL warming,” not “California warming.”

        I’ve seen more local to regional denialist claims here in my brief stay than I care to count…mostly from the East Coast week-log Arctic Outbreaks.

        But 2014 GLOBALLY is about to be released….guess that will fit the theme:)

  41. When was the previous record basil?

    Sorry don’t bother

    It’s in the article – it was 1934

    • Mebbe Duke wants in the same conference with Penn State. Seem competitive in fielding hockey sticks and in lacrosse.

  42. Why It's Not CO2

    “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. … if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
    —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

    Until all readers recognize that all forms of energy (including gravitational potential energy) play a role in entropy and thus in determining the state of thermodynamic equilibrium (which the Second Law tells us will evolve) then you are barking up the wrong tree with radiative heat transfer theory as your only concept in your beliefs about temperatures on all planets and satellite moons.

  43. Jisao PDO:
    J 0.70
    A 0.67
    S 1.08
    O 1.49
    N 1.72
    D 2.51
    It’s getting interesting.

  44. Hey Tony,

    Saw your post, and you know I’m always interested in SSW stories. What’s up?

    • Rgates

      Ok, I will write it up and post it shortly here.


    • Rgates

      About ten days ago you posted a chart showing the spitting of the weather systems and how that would bring storms to our part of the world.

      As I was going to fly out to Austria last Saturday I didn’t want to think about the potential for very high winds and lashing rain.

      At Bristol -where we fly from, in the South West Of England-the worst of the storm force winds and accompanying rain was supposed to pass through by 8am leaving tree hours to calm down before our flight at 11am.

      The temperature in nearby Exeter the previous day reached an almost record 16C and it remained very mild all night.

      The weather cleared half an hour before we flew and the temperature dropped from around 15C to around 5C as the wind dropped sharply .

      As we arrived in Salzburg 90 minutes later it was blowing a gale and it took two attempts for the pilot to land as he had to abort the first landing at the last moment due to very gusty winds and lashing rain.

      He got a round of applause as he landed the second time, but a groan as he announced to the eager skiers that the temperature was a balmy 21C (obviously assisted by the wind direction)

      We picked up the hire car and drove to our base as the green fields mocked us.

      The next morning we had to return to the airport to pick up our son who was joining us. It started snowing at 7am and was so thick on the ground the snow ploughs were out in force. At 11am when we made the collection it was around 2C but zero out in the country.

      A truly astonishing turn around from warm to cold in both countries, Austria 24 hours after the UK as the weather system moved across.

      All the best